Nervous Nelly Rides a Bike

As I drove home from work Tuesday night, mentally preparing myself for my home workout, I whined a little bit about having to get on the bike trainer. After Sunday’s gorgeous ride it was hard to imagine riding in my living room. I got changed, had my snack and set up the living room when Michael walked in the door and said, “Let’s go for a bike ride!”

“Okay!” YAY! No bike trainer! He had an hour-long loop we could do together and since it was such a nice, warm day in Portland it was hard not to take advantage of that.

I’m a nervous bike rider when it comes to riding on the road. I’m not used to riding with traffic, it makes me super nervous and I’d much prefer a rural road or bike trail. When we were training for Reach the Beach last year we rode around Portland a lot. I got more comfortable with road riding but since it’s been so long since we rode around the city I was nervous last night.

PLUS: it was rush hour. We left our house at 5:30pm and headed out. We had to cross a busy highway and ride on some neighborhood streets that don’t have bike lanes. There was a funky 6 way-intersection with so many weird turn lanes that we had to get in the actual lane in front of a car while we waited for the light to change. I was really anxious because we had to cross train tracks, immediately go up a steep hill and go fast enough that the cars weren’t annoyed behind us. Pressure! I made it up the hill, panting and out of breath, and then we were in bike lanes again.

We rode through neighborhood streets and then connected to the Springwater Corridor.

I was able to relax a bit once we were on the trail. Something that Portland does pretty well is create a lot of bike lanes throughout the city. It really is a good cycling city and somehow I need to get over my Nervous-Nelly ways so I can enjoy it!

We rode down the trail into Sellwood and then left the Springwater and picked up another neighborhood bike lane. We rode through downtown Milwaukie. The sun was out and it was warm. In fact, I’d overdressed for my ride. It’s hard to gauge with biking though.

We made it home with the loop completed in 58 minutes! It was a great ride for after work and I am SO happy that the weather is cooperating and the sun is out much later in the evening.

Bike Stats:

Time: 58
Calories Burned: 437

We made dinner together: spicy bratwursts with grilled zucchini. I added a little herbed goat cheese to the zucchini.

I had a sip of Michael’s beer. Only the good stuff in our house! (Check out Marie’s awesome letter to Miller Light. I agree 100%!)


Dinner was quick and easy and the perfect thing for after a bike ride. I think the trick to getting over my nervousness is to just do it more. I noticed that I wasn’t sore on the bike too, I think riding on the trainer all winter has helped a LOT! Focusing on my core this winter too has kept me from experiencing back pain or neck pain on the bike too.


Since we went for a bike ride, I missed out on the #fitblog chat. I’d been looking forward to it because the questions sounded so interesting (will talk about them tomorrow).

Enter Giveaway Here!

QUESTION: What’s your favorite way to take advantage of the lighter evenings? And are you a nervous rider? How do you get over it?



14 Responses

  1. I went for a bike ride with my man last night as well! It was perfect weather for it, and it was nice to spend some time with him. I live in the suburbs a bit and am really close to a bunch of trails so I don’t have to contend with too much traffic, but I am still nervous when I have cars coming up behind me! I always try to bike really fast to get off the main roads and onto the trails where I am safer.

  2. I am a nervous cyclist in the city too… I have many friends in “cycling groups” like ZooBomb, bike messengers and VDBR (vegan dinner bike ride!!), and through them learn of all the accidents involving cyclists and cars, etc. It’s a lot!! Two friends last summer were hit while cycling.

    I love to ride my mountain bike in Forest Park, and now that I don’t live up there I DRIVE to Westover and bike up… I’m a weenie! πŸ™‚

    I love Springwater Corridor too!

    I was outside enjoying the sun last night too – SO excited for summer!

    1. I’m really excited for summer to get here!

      I HATE hearing about cyclists getting hurt. I get so anxious about that because Michael bike commutes and so do other friends. It just stresses me out.

  3. Nice ride!

    I don’t like riding in the streets at all, but it is a necessary evil to get to our bike paths. There are some bike lanes, which make me a little nervous because the cars go 55 on that road (but it leads to cupcakes!). It gets better the more you do it, but you just never let your guard down.

    I have had a lot of close calls. John actually got hit by a car years ago that turned right at a corner in front of him when he was going straight. At least it was slow speed and he only ended up on top of the hood with a few cuts and bruises. The bike needed a little repair, though. The guy just wasn’t paying attention.

    My worst accident was a head on collision with another biker when I was in my mid 20s. Ouch. I jogged one way to avoid a pothole and the other biker didn’t notice and was going too fast and we hit. Bent my bike frame and I had massive bruises on my thighs from hitting the handlebars. His bike was unusable after that.

    My motto on the bike – trust no one.

    1. YIKES!!! That is really scary. I am always aware, always looking. I am hyper sensitive to what is around me. I also see a lot of drivers doing stupid things and not paying attention to cyclist. That makes me really mad!!

      Last summer Michael and I crashed but the bikes were okay and besides being pretty bruised and sore, I was okay too. I still prefer bike trails.

  4. I love biking outside too, but HATE doing it around cars! I have to cross a busy street to get to my trail, but after I cross that street I don’t have to ride at all with cars – just runners, walkers, and other cyclists. It must have been so nice to be outside last night!

    1. My plan is to commute to work by bike a few days a week. Soon I’ll give it a trial run and start practicing. I am REALLY anxious about it. Most of the commute will be on neighborhood streets and bike trails until I get to downtown Portland. The plus side: downtown Portland has a lot of big bike lanes. The bad side: when drivers get downtown they turn into MANIACS and drive like idiots. It’s super dangerous.

  5. I haven’t been on a bike in years, and I really don’t believe it’s “like a riding a bike.”

    And the whole clipping your feet to the pedals? Because that sounds like a good idea. Oh, here, I’ll anchor my feet down, that way if I fall, we’ll all go down together and I’ll land on my FACE. Perfect!

    …but it looks like it was a lovely ride!

    1. You bring up a good topic: Michael clips in. I have some cycling shoes I’ve never used because they don’t match the clip-in pedals I bought. So I don’t clip in. I feel more comfortable being able to get free of my bike easily. I WAS planning on buying new shoes so I could spend this past winter practicing clipping in and out while on the bike trainer…but I never did. Maybe next winter.

      And honestly, my doc said it’s not a good idea for people with IT Band issues to clip in because it can irritate the knee…

  6. What a fun night!

    I’m a Nervous everything…I won’t let Chris bike commute, I won’t hike through our local park by myself…then Chris is always telling me to “Be careful!” even if I’m just running to the store. I think we definitely need to loosen up a little, while still being a bit cautious.

  7. I’m also a nervous biker, I’m too scared to do the clip-ins for now too. At least YOU have a helmet, hahaha, I don’t! Bad, bad, bad, reallly bad! πŸ™‚

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